I'm in my basement bedroom. Door shut. Lying on my
stomach on my twin-size bed. Feet up, dangling midair.
Propped up, my elbows digging into a pillow, I'm
facing my old, sticker-covered ghetto blaster, getting
all dreamy to the dreamy songs of The Breeders
that escape it. Singing along, pretending the reality of
my teenage life outside doesn't exist, and instead I'm
some member of a really cool weird rock band, just
loving it, night after night.
I might've forgotten all about these escapist school
nights had the Caulfield Sisters' new EP, Say It With
Fire, not shown up. I'm trying to like it for what
it is, here and now. But it's hard. I can't help but
go back. The similarities are uncanny and the sounds
just as dreamy.
Already, the sounds of the '90s are making a
resurgance. A bit premature, but a fact nonetheless
(Rhino already dropped the decade-spanning anthology
called Whatever: The 90s Pop Culture Box). But
don't mistake the Caulfield Sisters for a revivalist
act; singer and guitarist/accordionist Cindy Wheeler
and bassist/vocalist Mary Guidera played in the '90s
pop/rock band Pee Shy. Rounded out by newish
drummer Kristin Mueller, the New York City trio don't
aim to recapture, in this decade, the vitality of the
last. They've been there, done that. And, timely or
not, are back to do it again.
The six-track EP opens with the slow-kicking, jangly
"Phoebe's Song," first introducing the listener to the
ethereal, steamy vocals and crunching yet whimsical
tones that are heard throughout. "Box of Glass" is a stuttering, catchy cut trudging
through Jesus & Mary Chain-style distortion, while the
clean and poppy "Fine" recalls Belly or Veruca Salt
with its skipping beats and swinging self-assurance.
"Mosquito" makes for a fitting closer with its
sluggish tempos and muddled but mesmerizing sound.
For those of you born in the '70s (are we old?), the
Caulfield Sisters are sure to summon up feelings of nostalgia. Still, you'll
be hard pressed to resist these gorgeous songs, and even I don't mind the occasional
flashback to my teen years.